Closet Sewing Space




About: Maker, Mom & Teacher...

Usually,  I tackle a project by recognizing a need, and then go about problem solving. In this case, I had a want... and it took me a few minutes to realize it was also a perfect solution!

I fell in love with a small arts and crafts style desk at a local auction. But I couldn't really justify buying it, without having a use for it. Thankfully,right before the bidding began, I realized it would probably fit perfect in my closet in the art room upstairs. Sigh... I now had an idea, and a reason!

I won the desk (for a steal), and the sewing nook was born!

Step 1: Organizational Tools

A couple of organization tools really helped me with this space.
  • A small desk
  • The peg board !! (big time)
  • Plastic see through bins
  • Door hanging basket system. 

Small Desk
I lucked out, saw the desk first and it  fit  (we'll call it a good eye, and not mention the luck to my husband).... I would recommend measuring your closet, and checking out a goodwill, or your kiddo's room.

Peg board
I had never put up any peg board before, so that was an adventure, but it wasn't so hard.
You'll need:
  • peg board
  • 1x2 wood. ( 1 x 2  actually measures about 3/4" x 1 1/2")
  • Wood screws long enough to go through the 3/4" wood, and in to your studs behind the wall. (about 12 of them)
  • Shorter screws to screw the peg board to the wood. (again 9 - 12)
  • Circular saw for cutting.
  • Drill
How to:
  1. Measure up how big you want to the peg board to be.
  2. Buy pegboard, I got a 1/4 sheet at home depot, and cut off the extra at home with a circular saw.
  3. The peg board needs to sit away from the wall so the hooks can slide in. That's where the 1x2 comes in.
  4. I bought 8 feet of the 1x2, and cut it down to 3, 24"  pieces. The 24" was the height of my peg board.  And I cut 3, so I could put one on each side, and one on the stud in the middle. Change your measurements to suit your space,  adding 1x2 framing on every stud, as it gets wider.
  5. To screw the 1x2's in to the walls. I pre-drilled holes with a drill bit, just smaller than my screws. Then I screwed the wood to the wall.  Make sure you are screwing in to a stud, or use dry wall anchors (in that case I would be sure not to put heavy things on the peg board)
  6. Screw the peg board to the 1x2 framing. You could put a piece of 1x2 on top for extra stability. I don't put one on the bottom, because some how little things get trapped back there !?!
  7. Get hooks to suit your needs, and your off! 
Plastic Bins
I like the see though ones, so I don't have to open all the boxes to find what I'm looking for.

Door Rack
I got one of those "elfa" door rack systems you can get at the container store. It wasn't cheap, but it has now lasted me over 5 years, no scratches... no problems.

Step 2: Accessories

There are also a few handy accessories in this space.
  • Bobbin Rack
  • mini shelf
  • portable / hang-able pin cushion
  • patterns on a string
Bobbin Rack
I made this by cutting up some of a bamboo cutting board.  I then nailed long nails in to the board, I eyeballed the spacing to accommodate the bobbins.  I also screwed an eye hook in to the top, so I could hang it on one of the peg board hooks.

Mini Shelf
Using remaining parts of the bamboo cutting board I cut it, so that it would sit well on some of the peg board hangers that stick right out.

Portable pin Cushion
This is my cat's favorite attraction.. he likes to steal the pins and then run for it! 
(I cannot tell you how many times I have had to chase my cat around the house yelling like a mad woman, trying to grab the cat, and snatch the pin from his mouth. I imagine, he's laughing the whole time!)

To help me put the pin cushion in a safe place, I added 2 eye screws to it, and some picture hanging wire. I can now hang it up off the table, easy for me to reach, and in my line of sight.

Patterns on a String
I create templates, when I make new designs.  The templates that I use most often all have a hole punched through them, so I can put them on a string, and hang them up. Easy for me to reach, and find.

Step 3: Lighting

This is one of my least elegant solutions... but also one of my cheapest :-) 

A closet space can be pretty dim, making it hard to see thread colors, and black on black stitching.  This space needed some light!  Thankfully, this is a "Harry Potter" style closet, in that it is under the stairs.  I was able to place a lamp next to my desk. So now I can see what I'm doing. (OK, it's pretty gaudy... but for less than a buck, I can hardly complain, and no one else sees it ).

Behind the lamp I still have some storage for items I don't need frequent access to.

Step 4: Ta Daa!

The nice thing about this space is that I created  a little over 2 years ago, and it is still working for me now. It is a pleasure to sit down, and know my supplies are at my fingertips, or  within arms reach.  It has also been fairly easy to maintain.  Aside from keeping out the cats, being able to close the door has also meant that I can leave a project sitting out, and it's waiting for me when I come back... undisturbed!!

This little closet is hands down one of my favorite places to sit and work. And I hope sharing it helps inspire you to carve out a space for yourself. :-)

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    30 Discussions


    Question 11 months ago

    I love your idea, however, I don't own any saws...what do you recommend???? Can't wait to do this

    1 answer

    Answer 6 weeks ago

    The peg board came pre-cut at home depot, and They will cut down a length of wood for you, often their is a hand saw in the store too.


    Well I can safely say that your idea really takes the 'guess work' out of a difficult build. I have been working on putting together a craft room (my small unused dining room) & realized that I hadn't factored in my sewing very well. I have a rolling craft table my sweet husband built, but it's just not compatible for sewing (hot glue, jewelry, pvc, etc). Your idea will be put to good use. Thank you for sharing.


    2 years ago

    well done looks great thanks

    Just4Fun Media

    3 years ago

    Great design, you literally thought of everything! How long did it take to plan?

    Have a great day! :-)


    3 years ago

    Heaven does exist


    3 years ago

    That's a great setup for sewing. Thanks for sharing this!


    3 years ago

    Clever, practical, and simple. This is a great example to help others figure out their own solutions. Thanks for sharing.


    3 years ago

    How do you hang the ribbons? A spring rod?


    3 years ago

    Nice. I am hoping to make my own sewing area in February and these are great ideas.

    Two questions though please.

    One, what do you make your templates out of?

    Two, what is an "elfa" door rack system and what or how did you use it?

    Thank you :)


    3 years ago

    I also am a "closet crafter", although mine is "my" half of a walk-in closet, so I have a bit more space to work with.
    One suggestion, what about a hinged ring for your templates, instead of a string?
    Otherwise, an excellent 'ible.


    3 years ago

    This is wonderful. What a great way to start the new year with a new idea for organization.


    3 years ago

    Oh my goodness! This is brilliant! Why didn't I think of this!

    London Lady

    3 years ago

    This is wonderful! I just got a sewing machine as a late Christmas present and I'm super excited to use it. Now if only my parents would let me do some closet converting...


    3 years ago

    This is really nice, My grandma can definitely benifit from something like this


    6 years ago on Step 4

    Bravo! Even though my sewing space is much larger, I have incorporated many space saving ideas. I had not thought of the bobbin idea but "necessity is the mother..." I love seeing that someone else does the same thing! Hey, storage space is for the fabric, right?!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I like small spaces, and this seems an ideal use of space for a useful activity. It could be done in a similar way to cater for many other crafts.